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The word adjudicate has been around since the early eighteenth century. We will examine the meaning of the word adjudicate, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To adjudicate means to pass formal judgement on a matter in dispute, to make a judicial declaration or to fulfill the role of judge in a non-legal competition such as a beauty pageant or pie contest. While adjudicate may be used in the context of a competition, the word is most often used when describing a legal situation.  Adjudicate is a verb, related words are adjudicates, adjudicated, adjudicating. The adjective forms are adjudication and adjudicatory, the noun forms are adjudicator and adjudication. The verb adjudicate is a back-formation from the word adjudication, a Scottish legal term which is derived from the Latin word adjudicare meaning to grant a legal reward, as a judge.


Recently, the Centre announced that it is planning a permanent tribunal to adjudicate all interstate river water disputes. (The HIndustan Times)

The Supreme Court has stayed a law that would have given the central government complete control over tribunals in the country, including the National Green Tribunal, a judicial body meant to adjudicate environment-related complaints. (The Telegraph)

A number of additional district and session’s judges and civil judge-cum-judicial magistrates work under their supervision to adjudicate both civil and criminal matters. (The Nation)

Initially all was well; she learned about medical conditions, and was allowed to adjudicate lien claims to try to recover state payments when workers compensation suits were settled. (The Napa Valley Register)

Together with international commerce, he recommended representative republics (what we would call democracies), mutual transparency, norms against conquest and internal interference, freedom of travel and immigration and a federation of states that would adjudicate disputes between them. (The Guardian)